RAF Marham Swimmers Triumph Again!
At the end of 2013, eleven RAF Marham swimmers travelled to RAF Cranwell to compete in the RAF Swimming, Diving and Water Polo Inter Stations Championships.
Building on the success of 2012 championships RAF Marham swimmers prepared well in the weeks leading up to competition training intensively at Downham Market Leisure Centre coached by Corporal (Cpl) Lynsey Carveth and Senior Aircraftsman (SAC) James Nicholas.
As well as focusing on the swimming competition Marham entered the Water Polo and Diving disciplines. The Water Polo saw a tough battle against RAF Brize Norton, RAF Benson and RAF Waddington, however with some excellent skills from the boys (Flying Officer Andrew Davies, SAC Duggan and SAC Nicholas) and some cracking goals from all over the team, the team managed to finish joint 3rd behind RAF Honington and RAF Brize Norton.
The Diving competition saw Chief Technician (CT) Nicholson and Cpl Carveth compete for the first time ever in diving, and they were certainly put through their paces with the diving workshop the night before and the competition the following day. The competition consisted of three different dives that had to be taken from the 1m, 3m or 5m board. Battered and bruised from the diving workshop both CT Nicholson and Cpl Carveth put
on a spectacular show scoring valuable points for the team and as a team finished 2nd as a station, a fantastic result!
Finally the long awaited swimming competition saw a record number of competitors which produced a record number of heats with the majority of swimmers having to swim for their place in the final. SAC James Nicholas captained the Men’s team, and he himself faced tough competition in the 100m Butterfly along with SAC Jarrod Benney, however both qualified with ease, and SAC Nicholas took a silver medal in the event final. SAC Liam Green made his debut for RAF Marham in the 100m Backstroke and 200m Freestyle and produced some excellent times. The Men’s team finished overall in 5th position a great improvement on last year with RAF Cranwell taking the top spot.
The Ladies also faced tough competition from RAF Brize Norton and RAF High Wycombe but were extremely determined to retain the trophy from last years surprise win. Unfortunately the Ladies team saw one of their most valuable members, SAC Claire Hobbs having to sit on the poolside due to injury, however Flt Lt Helen Davies jumped at the chance to make her debut for RAF Marham. Fg Off Maggie Barker dominated the pool taking medals in all her events along with Cpl Lynsey Carveth who also broke the record for 50m Butterfly. The Ladies overall took one Gold Medal and two Silver Medals in the Freestyle, Breastroke and Medley relay making Brize Norton and High Wycombe work hard to win points. Flt Lt Helen Davies and SAC Eleri Davies put in some gutsy swims in the relays gaining valuable points for the team and setting a brand new record for the event. Overall it was a close competition for the Ladies, but they successfully retained the trophy for another year with a win, only four points separated the top three teams.
Overall an amazing achievement for a base without its own swimming pool and very limited access to swimming facilities in the local area. RAF Marham has never finished so high, with the Ladies retaining the swimming trophy yet again. The standard of competition across all three disciplines was extremely high from all stations (most with RAF Swimmers), and it is a true testament to everyone’s hard work over the last few months, determination to succeed, and willingness to drive a 40 minute return journey to train throughout the week.